Perl Programming Course Materials

I taught Perl programming courses at adult education centers in Boston for a bit and this is a collection of the materials I developed for those courses. Instructors might be able to adapt these materials for their own courses, prospective Perl programmers might be able to learn a bit about Perl by just browsing these pages, and those of you who already know something about Perl may just want to bookmark a couple of the “Handouts” pages to use as a reference. In any case, if you steal any of this stuff it’d be nice of you to email me and let me know how you’re using it. It’d also be cool if you credited me somehow when you do use these materials. Lastly, if you make any changes let me know so I can update this site.

Course Descriptions

I taught this course as “Perl for Programmers” in fall and winter 2001 at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education. That title is a little deceptive since you really didn’t need any programming experience at all to take the class and learn Perl, but that’s the title they had from a previous on-line Perl course that they offered so we used it. I also taught a couse called “Perl Programming” at Brookline Adult & Community Education in 2001. The courses lasted either 8 or 10 weeks depending on the location and the term. Below are the descriptions that were used by both centers. Although I think I wrote most of the descriptions, please don’t use them verbatim if you are looking for a description for your Perl course since I’d imagine they’re technically property of those centers and they may still be using them.

Perl for Programmers: The Perl programming language is an invaluable tool to system administrators and web developers because of its unique combination of flexibility and power. In this course, you will learn the basics of Perl’s syntax and semantics including the various types of variables, conditional and looping constructs, file I/O, and interfacing with the underlying operating system. Although the course is conducted using the UNIX operating system, the concepts learned are easily applied to Windows and the MacOS as well. This class serves as an introduction to computer programming and previous programming experience is not required.

Perl Programming: Perl has proven to be a favorite scripting language among Web developers, who use it as the interface between on-line form submission and databases. It is powerful, concise, and remarkably easy to learn. In this class, we’ll touch on the majority of the simpler operations and common language idioms found in most Perl programs. Specifically, we’ll consider scalar data types, operators, arrays and list data, control structures, hashes, basic I/O, regular expressions, and functions. Students should have familiarity with Windows and have a working knowledge of applications such as Word or Excel. Limited to 14.